A while back I discussed raw materials on the Pacific Sea Floor that Japan and USA officials were considering for rare earth materials. The technology and risks involved have stifled actual projects to retract those materials from the sea floor. First of all, it’s thousands of feet below sea level. That is a problem in itself. Also the technology to get the mud/sea floor is not perfected nor readily available. I say that because although we’ve laid telegraph lines 150 years ago across the ocean floor, we already accomplish limited drilling in the sea for diamonds and gold, it’s not remotely close to working on land. Obviously, where there is a will there is a way but these are major hurdles.
Low and behold the Japanese have made a discovery within it’s Exclusive Economic Zone near Minami-Torishima island in the Ogasawara Islands. This discovery holds roughly 220 times the annual usage of rare earth materials by the country. Not far from that outside of it’s EEZ there was also testing and a further discovery. At 5,600 meters below sea level it’s a challenge but as more people, companies, and countries get involved the faster the technology and efficiencies will improve. India recently acknowledged building a ship for such purposes is also getting into the mix which is a welcome site.
Stay tuned for more developments.